KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Oklahoma and Notre Dame needed overtime yet again to decide things in the NCAA Tournament. This time, it was the Sooners who made the big shot that sent them back to the regional finals.
Nyeshia Stevenson hit a three from the corner with 4.4 seconds left in overtime and third-seeded Oklahoma knocked off second-seeded Notre Dame 77-72 on Sunday night to reach the regional finals for the second year in a row.
Stevenson had 21 points and Abi Olajuwon added 20 points and 14 rebounds for the Sooners (26-10), who lost to Notre Dame in overtime in the second round in 2008.
Oklahoma muffed a chance to win at the end of regulation, as Danielle Robinson slipped 30 feet from the basket. But in OT, Stevenson calmly drilled the three that proved to be the winner.
Notre Dame then chucked a baseball pass about 75 feet, but Stevenson snagged it and knocked down two free throws to seal the win.
Melissa Lechlitner had 22 points and Lindsay Schrader had 19 to lead Notre Dame (29-6), which lost its fourth straight regional semifinals game dating back to 2001.
Lexington Catholic graduate Natalie Novosel was 4-for-4 from the free-throw line to account for all her points for the Irish.
Seminoles set up rematch
DAYTON, Ohio — Moments after her team had pulled off the biggest win in Florida State history, Coach Sue Semrau was already facing questions about her team's next opponent.
So, Semrau was asked, is Connecticut the greatest team of all time?
"I haven't been around for all-time, so I can't tell you if they're the greatest team of all-time," she said, clearly put off.
Courtney Ward scored the third-seeded Seminoles' last six points in the final 38 seconds, leading the way to a 74-71 victory over No. 7 seed Mississippi State on Sunday in the Dayton Regional semifinals.
Florida State (29-5) advanced to meet No. 1-seeded UConn (36-0) in Tuesday night's regional finals. The Huskies rolled to a 78-59 win when the two teams met earlier in the season.
To reach the showdown with Connecticut, Florida State had to summon a gutsy effort, particularly in the closing moments. Then the Seminoles, who got 21 points from Alysha Harvin and 14 from Ward, celebrated by dousing their coach with water in the dressing room.
"Actually, the whole team got Coach," Ward said with a guilty grin.
The Seminoles, who set a school mark with their 29th win, earned their first spot ever in a regional title game.
"It means a lot," said Jacinta Monroe, who added 11 points. "I can barely put it into words."
Chanel Mokango scored 20 points and Mary Kathryn Govero had 19 for the Lady Bulldogs (21-13), who went deeper in the tournament this year than ever before. Alexis Rack had 13 points and Armelie Lumanu added 11 points and 15 rebounds.
After 11 ties and 14 lead changes, the Seminoles finally got the lead for good with 1:40 left.
"It was back and forth," said Mississippi State Coach Sharon Fanning-Otis. "It was whoever made the best play late."
UConn wins 75th straight
DAYTON, Ohio — Maya Moore made three-pointer from the top of the key for Connecticut's first basket. Then she hit one from the left corner. Just like that, another Huskies rout was on.
Moore scored 16 of her 25 points in the opening 9 minutes and seemingly invincible UConn took it from there to roll over Iowa State 74-36.
"Connecticut is certainly as good as advertised," Iowa State Coach Bill Fennelly said. "I don't think I've had a whipping like that since I was a little kid and I broke something of my mom's."
Kelly Faris came off the bench for 16 points and Tina Charles also had 16 for the Huskies (36-0), who extended their unprecedented winning streak to 75 in a row.
The Huskies have won their first three games in the tournament by a combined 148 points — the most ever.